Employee Satisfaction Surveys

5 Last-Minute Employee Appreciation Ideas

Five simple ways to recognize employees and encourage employee engagement.



Trusted Experience Management Partners

You’re stuck in traffic, your dog threw up just as you were leaving the house, and you haven’t had your morning java. Yet, as you savor the exhaust on the expressway, you remember Allison, that certain employee who clearly needs some encouragement. Allison’s been working long hours on some tough projects—and doing a great job! You know timing is important. If you don’t recognize Allison soon, she may just feel like she needs to move on. But you don’t have time to draft a complex recognition plan—in fact, she needs to get some recognition today. So, how can you deliver thoughtful, specific employee recognition when you’re short on time? Read on for a few general techniques for quick employee recognition, inspired by Ken Lloyd’s 151 Quick Ways To Recognize and Reward Employees.

1. Write a note.

In this era of electronic communication, hand-written notes have more impact than ever. Keep a stash of stylish, simple notes in your car, briefcase, and nightstand. That way, when a certain employee’s heroic deeds come to mind, you can just reach for the pen. Remember to be as specific as you can in your praise; this will help Allison understand which actions you’d like her to repeat. A simple note can go a long way to encourage employee engagement.

2. Visit for no reason.

Unfortunately, many managers only visit their employees’ offices when they have an agenda. When was the last time you chatted with Allison with no checklist running through your mind? Employees appreciate your attention; they like knowing that you care about their work. As Ken Lloyd quips, “Your presence is often the best present you can give your employees.”

3. Include employees in screening interviews.

Your packed schedule (once you finally get into the office) includes an interview for that new position. Why not include Allison in part of the screening procedures? Especially if they will be working directly with new hires, employees savor the chance to help contribute to the hiring process. Including employees in hiring procedures makes them feel valued. Bonus: Allison will likely have unique insiders’ insights to contribute, since she’s on the front lines.

4. Give the gift of time.

Let Allison know that you appreciate her dedication by letting her leave an hour or two early. Even if she loves her job, Allison will savor her extra hour of freedom.

5. Personally deliver paychecks.

Don’t let HR have all of the fun. If a certain employee has been delivering a stellar performance, turn paycheck delivery into an opportunity to deliver praise. As you personally hand Allison her paycheck, tell her exactly what she’s been doing well lately. She’ll probably remember your specific praise longer than she’ll remember how she spent that paycheck.

~Monica Nolan, Account Manager

Top photo by William Warby

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Topic: Employee Experience

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